There is a fight happening for the soul of our nation and the battleground has been set. Whether on social media or on the streets of any major American city, the militant left wants conformity by any means necessary.

That the equivocation necessary to explain how a well-funded and strategically deployed group whose stated intent is the socialist overthrow of government is equated to people exercising their First Amendment rights to assembly and free speech is staggeringly ridiculous. Further, to compare the men and women who go to these protests to protect attendees to those who attack them is beyond dishonest. 

Attacking the “opposition” with bike locks, pipes and carbon fiber assault gloves, as well as bricks and padlocks hidden in socks while committing property crimes was definitely not what the framers had in mind when debating our First Amendment.

Antifa’s criminal behavior is not a new phenomenon. Antifa has a long and sordid history dating back to its beginnings in Russia and Germany. 

In more modern times, Antifa (in conjunction with Black Bloc, Action Front and other far left activist groups) have disrupted G20 events, Trump rallies and college campuses during conservative conferences and speeches, not to mention the Trump inauguration, all of which has lead the FBI to designate the group and it’s affiliates domestic terrorists.

Occupy Wall Street, with it’s sanitary issues, rampant drug use, drum circles and reports of sexual assault, was led by this same group. Spin-offs like Occupy Oakland resulted in massive property damage and injuries.

In San Jose, Antifa protestors created a climate of fear for those attending a Trump 2016 rally. Attendees were punched and kicked, cars surrounded and vandalized and teenagers chased through the streets.....while the police force was told to stand down.

UC Berkeley Antifa groups like BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) have the support of the city and mayor who agree that “hateful” rhetoric shouldn’t be allowed a voice in political discourse.

Portland seems to be ground zero of the insanity, with the constant presence of Rose City Antifa, with the majority being a West Coast phenomenon. Must be the weather.

A major factor at all of these events, though, is the common directive of city leaders and police chiefs for officers to stand down and allow violent socialists with weapons to run wild against those they frame as opposition.

Who are Antifa’s enemies? Well, of course, the fascists. You know them as American taxpayers, and as your family and neighbors. Free markets and the Constitution make the list as well. Anyone who supports capitalism and our republic is in the cross hairs, and it will only get worse.

There is a reason why these groups scream “democracy” and “no justice, no peace”. Constitutional limits and blind justice are an anathema to socialism and Antifa. Individual freedom must be destroyed in order to advance the collective.

The far left is emboldened daily by the media, tech companies and elected officials.

Big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter are staffed by far left young employees. They write the codes these sites use, they craft the terms and conditions dictating behavior on platforms and most importantly staff the offices of compliance and conversational health.

These employees support the far left ideologies, and their outlook controls the conversation on every platform. Antifa groups, and those who ascribe to their methods, are allowed to coordinate attacks and protests online without even a warning - let alone banning, while right leaning accounts were mass-banned for tweeting “learn to code” at national journalists on Twitter.

The DNC party apparatus uses Antifa and other groups as a tool. Bob Creamer, husband of Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and founder of Democracy Partners admitted on tape to utilizing these groups to foment violence against Trump rally attendees, which could then be framed as “Trump supporters get violent”. Creamer resigned after the tape was released, but most did not hear about the Project Veritas sting before President Trump brought up the tapes. Creamer isn’t the only operative who has done it, but he was the one caught. This has been part of the left’s playbook since protesting in the ‘60s became the norm.

Elected officials are not immune to covering and using Antifa either. Minnesota Attorney General  and former Congressman Keith Ellison posted pictures of himself of social media holding an Antifa playbook and with at least one Portland Antifa leader. Presidential contenders on the left are rarely, if ever, asked to denounce their side’s violence. Instead they are given a platform to continue to say that words from the right side of the aisle are violent towards marginalized communities.

I don’t know about you, but I am far more concerned about anarcho-socialists wielding pipes and knives against those they disagree with than what anyone tweets out. And to be even more honest, I am monumentally concerned with the escalation and counter-reactions that will inevitably occur if this continues to play out to predictable consequences over time.

The media is always quick to run a story from their preferred camp, especially ones that are sure to provide convenient headlines to attack Republicans.

Which brings us to the national media…which can’t wait to make sure the narrative is always “clashes between protestors” whenever Antifa has been up to their usual thuggery. Random people beaten and needing hospital stays to recover are not a new phenomenon whenever Antifa is involved, but the media sure has a hard time playing any confrontation on video that is wholly spurred by the far left.

The media has run cover for the far left in reaction to Trump since he rode down the gold escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy. But they are squarely aiming their ire at his voters, and what they represent. Trump is a convenient placeholder for the elite in society who think that middle America and it’s values are irredeemably deplorable, which is more than enough moral justification for these attacks and actions.

It is time for action to protect all American’s civil rights, and it is beyond time for federal action by the Department of Justice to ensure that all Americans have the right to peacefully, and without threat of violence, be allowed to assemble and express their political views.

Staff columnist Toni Butero can be reached at tbutero@mattosnews.com or by calling (209) 862-2222.